The 27th Jerusalem Film Festival opens Thursday night at the Sultan's Pool with a festive ceremony and a screening of "The Round Up," attended by the film's star Jean Reno and director and screenplay writer Roselyne Bosch.
The brothers Moshe and Leon Edri, the founders of the Cinema City theater chain, will be given a tribute award at the ceremony. The brothers own the United King film distribution company and are the largest private investors in Israeli feature films in recent years.
The march to free Gilad Shalit, which is due to reach Jerusalem on Thursday, may cause traffic jams on the way to Sultan's Pool.
Eight Israeli feature films, three of them adaptations of novels, will be screened. These include "The Book of Intimate Grammar," directed by Nir Bergman; Ori Inbar and Doron Tsabari's "Revolution 101"; "Infiltration," directed by Dover Koshashvili and based on the Yehoshua Kenaz novel "Hitganvut Yehidim"; and "And on the Third Day," which follows several Tel Aviv residents whose lives intersect over the course of three fateful days and is actor Moshe Ivgy's first film as director. The cast includes, in addition to Ivgy himself, Icho Avital, Efrat Ben-Zur and Sharon Alexander.
Other contestants include Avishai Sivan's "The Wanderer," the only Israeli feature film to be screened at this year's Cannes Festival; "Gei-Oni," directed by Dan Wolman and based on the Shulamit Lapid novel of the same name; and "Sea Salt" by Itai Lev, which is about a successful Israeli actress who is about to release a controversial film.
For the first time in 20 years, the Wolgin prizes will not be awarded to the winning Israeli films this year, because American philanthropist Jack Wolgin died at the beginning of the year. Other donors will fund the major prizes instead, including Italy's Hajaj family and the Van Leer Foundation.
The festival will last 10 days and close next Saturday, July 17, with the movie "The Kids Are All Right."
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